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Artful Compromise Being Crafted To End Government Shutdown (The Henry Clay Way)

January 24, 2019

Long time readers might know I have a soft spot for Henry Clay.  The Kentucky legislator was able to bring competing sides together to lower the national temperature over slavery.  History shows why his famed compromise had a most effective impact allowing for society to agitate deeper over our ‘original sin’, and also give time for Northern growth in industry and economic power.

Compromise is always the way mature and reasoned nations should deal with the anguishing issues of the day.  As is now the case in Washington as the government shutdown continues.

Wednesday was consumed with the political back-and-forth over the State of the Union address.  Donald Trump thought he could bluster his way to the dais in the House of Representatives.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi had something different to say–being in charge of one chamber of congress.  In the end, Trump said the SOTU address will be postponed until the federal government reopens.  As it should be.

There is a real need to be aware that the shutdown was created by Trump who wanted to play to his base about the funding for a wall on the southern border.  The misleading statements, and outright lies he told about the need for a wall, were more than the nation could abide.    His actions could not be catered to, and his demands can not me met.

But the government must open.   Those of us who believe in government to achieve the needs of society must work to make sure the departments and agencies are back in full stride.

That is why it is most heartening to know that House Democratic leaders are working towards a compromise that will not allow Trump his wall funds, but will provide a ramp that can be taken by all to allow for the government shutdown to end.  The Democrats are prepared to fund substantial sums of money for border security, it is reported as much as $5.7 billion that Trump requested. But the money will not go for the wall.  And of course the money is not appropriated until Trump agrees to reopen the government.

The ultimate goal is to get our government open and working for the people. I applaud bi-partisan attempts to achieve that end.  This shows to citizens that government can work to undo logjams.  This also (perhaps) allows for future negotiations a better chance of success on a host of issues.

Somewhere Henry Clay is smiling.

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